Fantasy Basketball Rankings: Week 21
Justin Fensterman goes position-by-position, ranking his top-20 fantasy plays for the NBA week ahead.
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|1||Russell Westbrook||OKC||3||Westbrook keeps the top spot and if Paul George needs to miss more time, his usage, especially on the scoring front will go up this week.|
|2||Ben Simmons||PHI||4||Simmons has been seeing more plays w/ Joel Embiid hurt and it doesn't look like Embiid will make it back until the end of the week and Simmons will have to force himself in the lane.|
|3||Stephen Curry||GSW||3||Curry doesn't need a full slate to be mega-productive as he's still the greatest pure shooter in NBA history and he'll also provide help w/ dimes and steals.|
|4||Trae Young||ATL||4||Young has improved as his rookie campaign continues and he's still taking a lot of shots and if John Collins needs another game out, his usage will go up.|
|5||Eric Bledsoe||MIL||4||Bledsoe is fresh off of a contract extension and he's showing this year why he's worth every penny. He plays strong defense, grabs boards and will still hit double figures in scoring.|
|6||Kyrie Irving||BOS||3||Irving is fully healthy entering this week so owners can expect full usage. He's the top option for Boston despite their guard depth and he'll also help a ton w/ playmaking.|
|7||Damian Lillard||POR||3||Lillard is stil the top scoring option for the Blazers and down the stretch they'll rely on him heavily in the fourth quarter as he's proven to be clutch and he'll help w/ assists too.|
|8||Kemba Walker||CHA||3||Most of the Hornets offense runs through Walker and he'll get plenty of shots and he'll balance out his offense between driving and jump-shooting. He'll never see a shortage of shots.|
|9||Chris Paul||HOU||3||Paul's assists should continue to go up w/ Clint Capela back in the mix and he'll continue to feed the cutter and he'll get his own plays in which he doesn't pass and be the scorer.|
|10||Kyle Lowry||TOR||3||Lowry continues to be the second option on Toronto, but they're never afraid to hold out Kawhi Leonard and that will boost his usage. Expect help w/ dimes too.|
|11||Jeff Teague||MIN||4||Teague hasn't been the healthiest lately. His Legs are simply getting old, but he should be available for the Timberwolves full slate this week w/ no restrictions.|
|12||Derrick Rose||MIN||4||If for some reason Teague needs a game off this week, Rose will see the bulk of the minutes and even if Teague plays, he'll still help a ton w/ scoring, boards and steals.|
|13||Kris Dunn||CHI||4||Dunn is the Bulls fourth option, but he'll still get plenty of time w/ the ball to drive and he's played very good defense this season and he'll continue to be a big help w/ steals.|
|14||Elfrid Payton||NO||4||Payton's usage will continue to rise as Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday 's minutes will be limited. Expect him to help consistently w/ points, dimes and steals.|
|15||Dennis Smith Jr.||NY||4||Smith is the Knicks top scoring option and they'll let him play heavy minutes to get more reps for the rest of the way and he'll provide help w/ assists and steals.|
|16||D'Angelo Russell||BKN||3||Russell's production shouldn't be threatened too much w/ the return of Spencer Dinwiddie . He's still the Nets go-to scorer and playmaker and he'll get plenty of minutes.|
|17||Emmanuel Mudiay||NY||4||Since returning, Mudiay has been a scoring machine and even though he'll be playing behind Smith, he'll still get time to run the Knicks offense and he'll get a good chunk of shots.|
|18||Goran Dragic||MIA||4||INJ: Dragic has been dealing w/ a Calf injury and it wouldn't be surprising to see him out for his first game of the week, but there's a chance he can still make it for the full slate.|
|19||Mike Conley||MEM||3||INJ: Needing to handle most of the offense by yourself could be a lot of work and Conley missed his last game because his body was sore. For now, let's assume he'll be active this week.|
|20||De'Aaron Fox||SAC||3||Fox will still see the bulk of the shots and he'll be the primary distributor for the Kings for the rest of the season. He uses his speed very well and doesn't have issues getting to the basket.|
|1||James Harden||HOU||3||Harden keeps the top spot and teams will have to watch the paint a bit more against the Rockets w/ Capela back in the mix and Harden should be able to see slightly better shots.|
|2||Jrue Holiday||NO||4||Holiday has still been able to produce and it'll be interesting to see if his minutes remain limited when Anthony Davis is out. E'Twaun Moore 's health could keep Holiday in the game longer.|
|3||Devin Booker||PHX||4||Booker is at his natural SG position and he'll see a ton of shots in the offense and he'll even get time to run the point, but his primary role is to keep shooting.|
|4||Zach LaVine||CHI||4||LaVine has been a strong scorer who will see time at both guard spots. He'll provide help w/ boards and assists as well and he's been attacking the rim a bit more.|
|5||Khris Middleton||MIL||4||Middleton remains productive even w/ the arrival of Nikola Mirotic and he'll see plenty of long-range jumpers and help hit the cutter and that will bump his assists up a bit.|
|6||Bradley Beal||WSH||3||Beal is the Wizards top scorer and w/ no John Wall for the rest of the season, he'll be all over the court and he'll help w/ boards a bit and steals too.|
|7||Malcolm Brogdon||MIL||4||Brogdon continues to be productive in the Bucks offense and even w/ Mirotic on the team, Brogdon will run the point a good amount behind Bledsoe and that'll keep his minutes up.|
|8||Andrew Wiggins||MIN||4||Wiggins has come through a ton since Jimmy Butler was traded and when Towns was hurt, he stepped up as the fill-in go-to scoring option and he'll continue to serve as the second option.|
|9||Tim Hardaway Jr.||DAL||4||THJ is the Mavs second scoring option and he's been sticking more to the arc rather than driving the lane, but he has been strong on transition and that's where he drives the lane the most.|
|10||JJ Redick||PHI||4||Redick is still seeing shots in the offense and will benefit playing w/ the Sixers second unit and while Embiid is out, he'll see even more shots and he'll provide some help w/ assists.|
|11||DeMar DeRozan||SAS||3||DeRozan would be much higher in the rankings if he had the full slate, but he'll continue being the Spurs top scorer and he'll also help w/ boards, dimes and steals.|
|12||Dwyane Wade||MIA||4||Wade looks like he can play for another season. He's been a consistent mid-range scorer for the Heat and he's been grabbing long boards from the elbow and if Dragic sits, he benefits.|
|13||Kent Bazemore||ATL||4||Bazemore has been able to stay healthy and he'll continue to serve as the Hawks third scoring option and he'll help a bit grab long boards. Expect him to shoot mainly from mid-range.|
|14||Donovan Mitchell||UT||3||Mitchell has been doing more than just waiting to be fed at the arc. He's been attacking the rim a bit more and keeping plays alive for the Jazz as their top weapon.|
|15||Buddy Hield||SAC||3||Hield has been a lot more aggressive this season when shots go up. He's fighting for boards more and grabs a lot of boards from the top of the paint and the arc.|
|16||Klay Thompson||GSW||3||INJ: Thompson is dealing w/ a sore Knee and he missed his last game. He should be active for all three of his games this week unless the pain doesn't go away.|
|17||CJ McCollum||POR||3||McCollum remains the second scoring option for the Blazers as most of their offense will continue to come from their back court and he'll help a bit w/ boards and especially w/ steals.|
|18||Kevin Huerter||ATL||4||Huerter should see more playing time down the stretch w/ the Hawks heading to the lottery. He'll benefit even more if Taurean Prince has to sit for another game.|
|19||Damyean Dotson||NY||4||Dotson takes a lot of three's, but he's seen his role grow more throughout the season and he'll be the Knicks primary SG and he'll fight for steals on the perimeter.|
|20||Jeremy Lamb||CHA||3||Lamb has outshined everyone on the Hornets except for Walker. He's been hitting a lot of three's, and making an impact on the boards. He'll grab a lot of long boards.|
|1||Giannis Antetokounmpo||MIL||4||Giannis is fully healthy and owners should expect full usage from the Greek Freak. Expect help in every area besides three-pointers. He'll grab a ton of boards and his drive is hard to stop.|
|2||LeBron James||LAL||3||Even though the Lakers are struggling as a unit, LeBron continues to produce and he'll be needed to play a lot of minutes down the stretch if the Lakers are going to make a run.|
|3||Luka Doncic||DAL||4||The Mavs top option will help out in multiple areas. He'll spend a good portion of his time running the point and he keeps the tempo of the offense quick and he'll score a lot of points.|
|4||Kevin Durant||GSW||3||Durant will see even more shots if Thompson has to sit. He'll see a good chunk of shots, regardless, but his usage will go up even more w/ one less mouth to feed at the arc.|
|5||Jimmy Butler||PHI||4||Butler will see more shots if Embiid continues to sit. He's been getting to the rim more and he'll be helpful on the glass. Let's not forget about the steals as he's still a good defender.|
|6||Kawhi Leonard||TOR||3||Leonard should be active for the Raptors full slate this week, but you never know. The Raptors have a ton of options and they want to keep Leonard healthy down the stretch.|
|7||Josh Richardson||MIA||4||Richardson will run the point more if Dragic has to sit due to injury. Richardson will see a good amount of shots and he could be looking at more plays if Whiteside has to sit as well.|
|8||Otto Porter Jr.||CHI||4||Porter is exhausted from all of the extra run he's gotten in Chicago and he's needed badly on both sides of the ball and he'll help out big time w/ steals on the perimeter.|
|9||Kelly Oubre Jr.||PHX||4||Oubre has taken full advantage of T.J. Warren being injured and he's stepped up as the Suns third scoring option. Even when Warren returns, he should be able to maintain his minutes.|
|10||Taurean Prince||ATL||4||Prince has been dealing w/ personal issus, but there has been no indication regarding whether or not he will have to miss any games this week.|
|11||Josh Jackson||PHX||4||Jackson has also seen a minutes and production boost w/ Warren out, but owners must be careful because he recently missed a fan event and that might limit his minutes for a few games.|
|12||E'Twaun Moore||NO||4||Moore has been a bit banged up and fatigued, but he should be active for the full slate without his minutes being limited and he can play multiple positions on the floor.|
|13||Kevin Knox||NY||4||Knox needs the reps if he's going to be a future leader for the Knicks. Expect him to get more shots and he'll help w/ boards inside as he plays the paint very aggresively.|
|14||Trevor Ariza||WSH||3||Ariza will see a good amount of shots as the Wizards main bailout scoring option and he'll grab a good amount of long boards and get steals on the perimeter. He's prioritized in the offense.|
|15||Rudy Gay||SAS||3||Gay's production has slown down a bit, but he's still the Spurs third scoring option. The Spurs guards have been getting more involved in the offense. Expect help from Gay w/ boards.|
|16||Brandon Ingram||LAL||3||Ingram remains productive despite LeBron being back in the mix and he knows that he'll have to lead the Lakers second unit in scoring and be a playmaker if he plans on keeping his minutes.|
|17||Joe Ingles||UT||3||Ingles is very dangerous on both sides of the ball from the perimeter. He's a sharp-shooter from distance and he'll grab long boards and plenty of steals on the defensive side of the ball.|
|18||Bojan Bogdanovic||IND||3||Bogdanovic will continue to see a high volume of shots w/ Victor Oladipo done for the season and he'll grab rebounds from the perimeter. He's been stepping in the lane a bit more.|
|19||Bogdan Bogdanovic||SAC||3||Bogdanovic is in a major battle for minutes, but w/ Marvin Bagley III out for another week, he gets a bit of breathing room and his minutes should get a bump this week.|
|20||Paul George||OKC||3||INJ: George has missed his last three games w/ a sore Shoulder and his status is up in the air for the week. If he needs to sit Terrance Ferguson will pick up playing time.|
|1||Lauri Markkanen||CHI||4||Markkanen takes the top spot w/ the full slate as most of the scoring will come from him and LaVine. He'll be needed to help out in the paint on defense because the Bulls lack depth.|
|2||Julius Randle||NO||4||Randle will continue to benefit from Davis getting limited and he'll be the chief inside option for the rest of the way and his usage will go up when Davis sits.|
|3||Tobias Harris||PHI||4||Harris has been very productive over the last two weeks and he's been able to carve out a good role for himself on offense. Expect help w/ scoring, three's and boards.|
|4||John Collins||ATL||4||INJ: Collins is sick and he's missed his last two games because of it and it's uncertain whether or not he'll have to miss his first game of the week.|
|5||Blake Griffin||DET||3||Griffin is the Pistons top scoring weapon and he'll be a big help on the glass as well. He'll balance his offense w/ driving and jump-shooting and he'll log a lot of minutes.|
|6||Nikola Mirotic||MIL||4||Mirotic has been able to remain productive despite having other options to deal w/. He'll help spread the floor by shooting from long-range and then he'll immediately crash the boards.|
|7||Justise Winslow||MIA||4||Winslow will see his usage go up even more if Dragic sits because he's perfectly capable of running the point and if Whiteside has to sit again, he'll be helpful in the post.|
|8||LaMarcus Aldridge||SAS||3||Aldridge has done a lot of dirty work and even w/ Pau Gasol off the team, Davis Bertans can't hold a candle when it comes to skills in the post to Aldridge. He'll help w/ boards and blocks.|
|9||Noah Vonleh||NY||4||Vonleh's minutes have been a little inconsistent. At times, the Knicks have led fantasy owners to believe he'll be limited, but if the last two games are any indication, he's still in the mix.|
|10||Taj Gibson||MIN||4||Gibson will see his usage drop a bit w/ Karl-Anthony Towns fully healthy, but he'll compliment Towns well by specifically handling the low block and helping w/ points and boards.|
|11||Aaron Gordon||ORL||3||Gordon remains the Magic's second scoring option and he'll score from both inside and outside. When he drives the lane, he drives w/ force and he'll grab plenty of boards.|
|12||Pascal Siakam||TOR||3||Siakam has been able to stay productive even w/ Marc Gasol in the mix. He has a no fear attitude in the paint and he'll draw plenty of contact while fighting to grab boards.|
|13||Dario Saric||MIN||4||Saric's usage will drop w/ Towns back in the rotation, but w/ Robert Covington still out, expect him to continue to grab minutes at PF and he'll help spread the floor w/ his shooting.|
|14||Draymond Green||GSW||3||Scoring is hard for Green, but he's a reliable rebounder, passer and he'll grab steals and blocks and he'll see more plays in the paint if Thompson has to sit at all this week.|
|15||Serge Ibaka||TOR||3||Ibaka has been able to keep his role and he's been playing more at the elbow and w/ Gasol's shooting range, his boards and blocks stats should be protected for the rest of the season.|
|16||Kyle Kuzma||LAL||3||I don't care if I sound like a broken record, but Kuzma must attack the rim more and not settle for as many three's as he does. He'll help grab boards on the defensive end.|
|17||Jayson Tatum||BOS||3||Tatum has been excellent at attacking the rim, and the opposition will have a hard time game-planning against him because he can shoot from the outside. Expect help w/ boards too.|
|18||Bobby Portis||WSH||3||Portis will log a lot of minutes for the rest of the way and he'll see playing time at both PF and C. He'll score mostly from right under the basket and he fights hard for boards.|
|19||Paul Millsap||DEN||3||Millsap has been able to get shots despite how deep the Nuggets are w/ scorers. Expect him to hit shots from mid and long-range. He's been grabbing seven boards a game this year.|
|20||TJ Warren||PHX||4||INJ: There's a chance we can see Warren finally make his return to the court. He's been dealing w/ an injured Ankle. He won't make it through the full slate, but 3 games is possible.|
|1||Karl-Anthony Towns||MIN||4||Towns is fully healthy and he shouldn't be restricted at all for his full slate. He helps out in all areas and he'll even dish a few dimes and he hits nearly two three's a game.|
|2||Anthony Davis||NO||4||INJ: Davis was rested his previous game, but he's now sick and he may have to sit out (for real) his first game of the week.|
|3||Nikola Jokic||DEN||3||Jokic produces from all over the court. Denver's top option will help out in all areas and he can even bring up the ball if needed. Expect a high volume of points and boards.|
|4||Nikola Vucevic||ORL||3||The Magic's top scoring option is playing for a contract and he can hit shots from the post and arc and he'll use his fancy footwork to produce in the paint and grab a ton of boards.|
|5||Deandre Ayton||PHX||4||Ayton will continue to be the Suns second scoring option and he is a match up problem because he'll hit a good amount of deep mid-range jumpers and he'll help w/ boards and blocks.|
|6||Hassan Whiteside||MIA||4||INJ: Whiteside has missed his last three games w/ a strained Hip and there's a chance he can make it back for his first game of the week.|
|7||Andre Drummond||DET||3||We all know the deal w/ Drummond; he doesn't have post moves, but he has a huge body and he'll take advantage of second chance scoring opportunities while being the top rebounder.|
|8||Rudy Gobert||UT||3||Gobert will have plenty of plays called for him in the post and he'll draw a lot of contact. Gobert will help out a ton on the glass and especially w/ blocks.|
|9||Mitchell Robinson||NY||4||Robinson has seen his usage go up a ton, even when DeAndre Jordan is healthy, but w/ him potentially sidelined for games this week, Robinson will provide a ton of boards and blocks.|
|10||Clint Capela||HOU||3||Capela hasn't looked back since returning from injury and the Rockets don't have a lot of depth up front and Capela will log a ton of minutes and help a ton w/ points and boards.|
|11||Dewayne Dedmon||ATL||4||Dedmon's usage will go up if Collins has to sit for another game. He'll see shots from mid and long-range and he'll grab a good amount of boards on defense.|
|12||Brook Lopez||MIL||4||Lopez helps spread the floor because all he does is shoot shots from long-range. He provide spotty assistance w/ grabbing boards, but his main role is to draw out bigger defenders.|
|13||Jusuf Nurkic||POR||3||Nurkic has been able to keep his minutes even w/ Enes Kanter on the team and he has awesome post moves that he'll continue to burn defenders w/ and he'll be a force on the glass.|
|14||Marc Gasol||TOR||3||Gasol will set up a lot at the arc because of the Raptors depth w/ skilled big men. Expect him to remain helpful w/ boards and blocks on defense and he'll see plenty of long-range shots.|
|15||DeMarcus Cousins||GSW||3||Cousins will continue to see his usage rise as his minutes continue to rise and if Thompson has to sit, expect him to take more three's. He'll grab plenty of boards, steals and blocks.|
|16||Steven Adams||OKC||3||The gritty Adams continues to dominate the paint. He's the Thunder's go-to big man and he'll get plenty of chances to score inside and he'll grab a ton of boards and play in the 30's.|
|17||Bam Adebayo||MIA||4||Adebayo will continue to see his usage go up if Whiteside sits. He's been an excellent fill-in option and even if Whiteside plays the full slate, Adebayo could still see 20 minutes per game.|
|18||Al Horford||BOS||3||Horford has elevated his scoring a bit in the last few weeks, but he's not as reliable of a rebounder grabbing under seven per game. He has been very helpful w/ blocks and steals.|
|19||Domantas Sabonis||IND||3||INJ: Sabonis has missed his last three games w/ an Ankle injury and his status is uncertain for the week. If he sits, Myles Turner and Thaddeus Young 's usage will go up.|
|20||DeAndre Jordan||NY||4||INJ: Jordan has been dealing w/ an Ankle injury and his status is uncertain for the week. If he sits, Mitchell Robinson will pick up even more playing time.|
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K. Dunn - PG
Kris Dunn will not participate in Chicago's three-week voluntary program.
This isn't surprising as Dunn does not want to risk an injury with free agency looming. The good news is that Dunn has fully recovered from the sprained right MCL he suffered on Jan. 31. He's coming off an impressive bounce-back season, receiving four first- and 23 second-team votes for NBA All-Defensive teams. He was a solid fantasy asset too, posting top-90 per-game value in 9-cat leagues with 7.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.4 dimes, 2.0 steals and 0.6 triples. This free agent class is pretty underwhelming overall, so Dunn will be in high demand for his ability to change the game on the defensive end.
Added 6:22 pm (EST)
Added 6:22 pm (EST)
P. George - SF
Paul George and Kawhi Leonard's commitment to playing alongside each other has not waned according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
George may be at odds with some teammates but his relationship with Kawhi appears to still be strong. According to Shams, "George was preaching to teammates to remain committed, for all the players to return to the team this offseason and stay ready to make another run," but it was met "by some eye rolls and bewilderment" because of his disastrous performance vs. Denver. Both George and Kawhi have one year left on their deals with player options for the following, so the Clippers will be desperate to make this core work after giving up seven first-rounders and a future star in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for George.
Added 3:05 pm (EST)
Added 3:05 pm (EST)
W. Barton - SF
Will Barton (right knee) is not expected to play in the Western Conference Finals according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Mike Malone said a few days ago that Barton remains without a timetable so this isn't a surprise. Malone did add that he'd like Barton to join the team anyways just to be part of their run. Barton will continue his rehab but even if the Nuggets can pull off a comeback it's hard to imagine him being ready for the Finals.
Added 10:40 am (EST)
Added 10:40 am (EST)
E. Brand - PF
76ers GM Elton Brand has met with "several top candidates" for the franchise’s head coach opening and the team expects to bring a shortlist of candidates to Philly within 10 days for the next round of interviews, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported.
"Former Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, ex-Thunder coach Billy Donovan and Clippers assistant Ty Lue are expected to be part of the next round of interviews and are strongly vying for and interested in the position," Shams adds. Brand is on the record saying that he doesn't intend to trade Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid so they'll be looking to bring in someone who could maximize their talents while upgrading the rest of the rotation after they were exposed in the playoffs.
Added 10:35 am (EST)
Added 10:35 am (EST)
N. Jokic - C
Nikola Jokic scored a team-high 30 points in a tough Game 2 loss vs. the Lakers on Sunday, finishing 9-of-20 from the field and 11-of-12 from the line in 39 minutes.
The Nuggets' stars showed up tonight, with Jamal Murray adding 25 points, six boards, four assists, two steals, two blocks and two triples. Jokic didn't make a 3-pointer until very late in the fourth quarter, after not even attempting any in Game 1. Denver goes as Jokic goes, so they should be encouraged by his 3-point attempts (1-of-4), assists and ability to get to the line. They'll need all of that and more to avoid a 3-0 deficit on Tuesday.
Added Yesterday 10:56 pm (EST)
P. Dozier - PG
P.J. Dozier came off Denver's bench for three points, one rebound, one assist, one steal and one block in 14 minutes on Sunday.
Dozier helped Denver hang tough throughout the second half, despite trailing by as many as 16 points. He was tough defensively, had a nice alley-oop dime, scored over Anthony Davis in isolation, and generally made a strong case for himself as part of the rotation. If he does earn minutes going forward, they'll likely come at the expense of backup PG Monte Morris (13 minutes tonight). Plan accordingly.
Added Yesterday 10:54 pm (EST)
D. Waiters - SG
Dion Waiters (sore left groin) was out again for Game 2.
Waiters has played a total of eight minutes since the Conference Quarterfinals vs. Portland. Even when he's cleared to play, it's very unlikely that he'll crack the rotation.
Added Yesterday 10:53 pm (EST)
R. Rondo - PG
Rajon Rondo (back spasms) finished Sunday's game with three points, nine assists, four rebounds, one steal, one 3-pointer and five turnovers in 21 minutes off the bench.
Rondo played well in Game 1, handing out nine assists in 22 minutes, and picked up where he left off tonight. Whenever LeBron James isn't on the court, Rondo's passing has been invaluable for this Lakers squad. He's getting solid minutes alongside LBJ, too, but he's turnover-prone and doesn't score very often, so his DFS ceiling is rather low.
Added Yesterday 10:48 pm (EST)